Official Delta order: (Delta/Northwest elites are equal):
Delta Executive Partner w/Delta Reserve AmEx on Full Y
Delta Executive Partner on Full Y
Delta Executive Partner on B, M, H, Q, K, L, U, T with Delta Reserve AmEx (in that order)
Delta Executive Partner on B, M, H, Q, K, L, U, T (in that order)
Delta Platinum Medallion on Full Y with Delta Reserve AmEx
Delta Platinum Medallion on Full Y
Delta Gold Medallion on Full Y with Delta Reserve AmEx
Delta Gold Medallion on Full Y
Delta Silver Medallion on Full Y with Delta Reserve AmEx
Delta Silver Medallion on Full Y
Delta Platinum Medallion on B, M, H, Q, K, L, U, T (in that order)
Delta Gold Medallion on B, M, H, Q, K, L, U, T (in that order)
Delta Silver Medallion on B, M, H, Q, K, L, U, T (in that order)
Delta Platinum Medallion on Y, B, M, H, Q, K using a companion upgrade to upgrade non-elite
Delta Gold Medallion on Y, B, M, H, Q, K using a companion upgrade to upgrade non-elite
Delta Silver Medallion on Y, B, M, H, Q, K using a companion upgrade to upgrade non-elite
For all of the above, first tiebreaker is if the passenger is a Delta Reserve AmEx cardholder. Second tiebreaker is time of upgrade request (generally time of purchase).
Non-elites purchasing an upgrade (ticket must be in Y, B, M, H, Q or K class) - done by time requested.
Note: Executive Partner status is the secret top-tier status at Delta given to very high spenders at Delta. Think United Global Services, Concierge Key at American, Chairman's Circle at Continental, Premier at BA
, etc. Invitation-only type clubs where if you have to ask to be invited, then you're not doing enough to make it.
Other airlines use other barometers, but the major trend amongst US carriers is fare class with full Y getting priority, often regardless of elite status. I know US uses current YTD elite qualifying miles as their tiebreaker; NW
has a formula that attaches a value to a customer and decides off that, etc.
|Quoting OHLHD (Reply 2):|
If I have ten gold members and need to upgrade then here is my list how I choose:
Please tell me you're kidding...there's a reason why US airlines have (rightfully so) taken a lot of this control out of the GA
's hands and automates it - so agents can't play favorites and a consistent practice is used.
I know at Continental, several agents have rightfully had to undergo retraining when they played around with upgrade lists so that undeserving passengers get First Class seats while the people who should have those seats have sat in the back of the plane. Fortunately, CO
has really made their upgrade lists transparent and DL
have all put monitors in at their major airports that list the order of people in queue for upgrades. Making the process very transparent like that takes away a lot of the control of the GA
, and when they do go out of line by breaking the rules, it makes it that much easier for them to be called out on it and hopefully disciplined for not following procedures.